How to Make Your Resume Stand Out with a Common Name

Conducting a successful job search isn’t always easy because there are so many elements required to make it flow smoothly, including a great cover letter, a powerful interview, and of course, a fantastic resume. But as you know, there are some elements clearly out of your control during the job search, including whether your name gets searched online.

If you have a common name, this could spell trouble since recruiters could run across the professional (or unprofessional) information of someone else’s and hurt your chances of being picked up of the stack. So as you’re conducting your search, let’s look at some ways to make your resume and profile stand out among the others with your name.

Create a Detailed Resume

Whether you write your own resume or find a resume writer, it’s important that you create a resume that is extremely detailed. This not only helps you garner greater consideration from hiring managers, but it also helps them discern your resume from someone else’s with the same name.

Some ways to make sure your resume is appropriately detailed include adding your middle initial or entire middle name, being specific about the city you live in, including your email address and giving yourself a career title – one that’s appropriate yet different than others you’ve heard before. By taking these steps to detail your resume, you give yourself a chance to stand out from your namesakes out there.

Provide Links to Your Online Profiles

Since recruiters and managers are almost certain to search for you in the online realm, it’s a good idea to make sure that they reach the right profiles along the way. There are likely to be several Myspace and Facebook pages out there that have questionable pictures or comments available for the world to see. If you leave it up to hiring managers to find your profile, they could run into information that could damage your job search, even if it’s not your fault.

To make things simple for everyone, it’s a good idea to list your online professional profiles right on your resume. Start with LinkedIn and go from there.

Make Your Online Profiles Clearly Yours

Another important way to distinguish yourself from others with your common name is to make your online profiles clearly yours so that if they’re searched in Google, you will still be easily identifiable. How can you get this done? Do a quick Google search of your name and see what’s out there. If you see people with your name, it’s good to alter your profiles so that yours don’t look like the others.

Also, make sure your email addresses are consistent across the board, be sure to include your city (and even your suburb if you have to), and include specific details about yourself that are unique to you. Hopefully, these adjustments can help hiring managers and recruiters know for sure that your information is what they’re viewing.

It’s not easy having a common name in a world where names are regularly searched for job consideration. So in order to make sure you give yourself a fair shot at finding a great job, take time to differentiate your resume and profile information from everyone else’s out there.


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